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Playoffs! Miracle Marlins advance to NLDS, but depleted Heat fall to 0-2 in NBA Finals. Our 2 new columns!; plus Collball Saturday, NFL Week 4 picks, latest Greg Cote Show podcast & more

GREG COTE'S RANDOM EVIDENCE BLOG: MIAMI. SPORTS. AND BEYOND

1) It's SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3. The Greg Cote Show podcast is now separately on Twitter and Instagram. Follow us on both! 2) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): NFL Week 4 picks, Heat lose NBA Finals opener, Marlins win playoff opener, Greg Cote Show podcast Episode 30 & more. 2) Join us on Twitter and Instagram.

NFL Week 4 picks: Our selections for Seahawks-Dolphins, Game of the Week, Upset of the Week and all the rest. We went 10-6 against the betting line last week and want to keep that roll going. For all our latest previews and picks visit NFL Week 4 Gems. Also: NFL Week 3 QB Rankings.

CoteshowGREG COTE SHOW PODCAST: SPECIAL EPISODE 30 -- 'BEING IZZY' -- OUT NOW!: Our Miami Herald podcast, "The Greg Cote Show With Greg Cote," debuted in March and new Episode 30 is out now! A new pod drops every Monday morning on Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, Megaphone, iHeart -- wherever you pod, and of course at MiamiHerald.com. Find all 30 we've done RIGHT HERE for free. Please listen, subscribe, rate and review. (Start on Episode 1 and catch up!) In Ep30 we welcome back special guest Izzy Gutierrez of ESPN. Last week we talked sports and silly stuff. This week -- very different. 'Being Izzy' marks fifth anniversary of his coming out as gay, and Izzy talks about his life since, including the heartache and a very recent loss. It's emotional and a must-hear. There's a new Mount Gregmore, too -- the M's. Hear all that and more on the new Greg Cote Show podcast!

PLAYOFFS: MIRACLE MARLINS ADVANCE TO NLDS, DEPLETED HEAT FALL AGAIN IN NBA FINALS

SixtoMIRACLE MARLINS -- THE 'MIAMIBOTTOM FEEDERS' -- ADVANCE IN NL PLAYOFFS: [Fish beat Cubs 2-0 Friday to sweep best-of-3 NLWC over Cubs; open NLDS vs. Braves on Tuesday]: The T-shirts convey the disrespect that surrounded these Miami Marlins entering this strangest of baseball seasons and has fueled them throughout it. MIAMI BOTTOM-FEEDERS, the shirts proclaim. The Marlins wore them during batting practice Friday. That was just before they swept their playoff series at Wrigley Field to advance to next week’s National League Division Series against the waiting Atlanta Braves. Do you respect the Marlins yet, America? The Chicago Cubs do. Miami beat the Cubs 2-0 on Friday, led by Sixto Sanchez’s (pictured) five shutout innings and Garrett Cooper’s scoreless-tie-busting solo home run in the seventh inning. They won as they had Wednesday in a 5-1 win sparked by Sandy Alacantara’s strong outing and a pair of homers. The sweep in the best-of-3 NL Wild Card series sends Miami on to the NLDS in the club’s first postseason in 17 years. And keeps alive the franchise’s improbable perfect record in the playoffs. For our fullcolumn off Game 2 including how that 'Bottom Feeders' nickname arose, visit Miracle Marlins Advance in NL Playoffs. Column off Game 1: Seventeen Years Out of Playoffs, Marlins Return in Style.

JbutNBA FINALS SLIPPING AWAY FROM MIAMI AS DEPLETED HEAT FALLAGAIN TO LAKERS: [Heat fall to Lakers 124-114 Friday night to now trail 2-0in NBA Finals. Game 3 is Sunday]: They had to call upon it all and have it all, the Miami Heat did Friday night. Everything available, tangible to magic. All of the ingenuity that makes Erik Spoelstra such a respected basketball coach. All the power entailed in the mystery of “Heat culture.” The whole idea Miami was built for the bubble. The underdog magic. The notion of the Jimmy Butler-led Heat being kissed by kismet. Whatever mystical vibes the godfather Pat Riley could send along. Heck, the Heat would have taken a sudden, surprise comeback from Dwyane Wade Friday night. A menacing scowl sent virtually by Alonzo Mourning. Anything. The Heat needed all of it to somehow avoid falling down into the desolation of a 2-0 NBA Finals hole to the Los Angeles Lakers. Had to have it. Didn’t get it. A Miami team that got blown out by 18 points in a Game 1 it entered at full strength seemed to have little chance in Friday’s Game 2 — not with star Bam Adebayo sidelined by a neck sprain and starting spark Goran Dragic erased by a left foot injury. This was Miami, missing two starters — missing 34 percent of its playoff scoring punch. Against LeBron James and Anthony Davis, et al. It felt like dire straits for the underdogs. It was. It turned into a 124-114 Heat loss to the Lakers that leaves Miami at very long odds now historically, realistically and otherwise to still make this a long series, let alone one that can perhaps still be won. For our full column off Miami's Game 2 loss, visit NBA Finals Slipping Away From Miami as Heat Lose Again. Column off Game 1: Riley Wants Heat to Beat LeBron So Bad, But Opening Loss a Reality Check.

Other most recent columns: COVID-Decimated and 30,000-to-1 Odds, Miami Marlins Are a Sports Miracle For the Ages / Canes Score Biggest Rout Of FSU in 44 Years. Soon, We Find Out How Good UM Really Is / Heat Wins East, Reaches NBA Finals Vs. LeBron / and We All Want Dolphins to Unveil Tua, But Appreciate the Ryan Fitzpatrick We Just Saw.

COLLBALL SATURDAY: HURRICANES 7 DAYS 'TIL CLEMSON: Miami is 3-0 and up to No. 8 in the polls after that 52-10 spanking of rival Florida State. But how  good are the Canes? Wait a week to find out. Next Saturday, at No. 1 Clemson, UM's ACC nemesis, will tell it all, for better or worse.

State FBS games today:

South Carolina (0-1) at No. 3 Florida (1-0), noon -- Gators, dreaming College Football Playoff, can't afford Swamp stumble vs. 18 1/2-point underdog 'Cocks.

South Florida (1-1) at No. 15 Cincinnati (2-0), 3:30 Bulls a 21-point road 'dog.

Charlotte (0-1) at FAU (0-0), 4 -- Finally! Late-starting Owls are 7-point faves in their home and season opener.

Jacksonville State (0-0) at Florida State (0-2), 4 -- Off the board, but expect 'Noles to take out frustrations and roll big.

Tulsa (0-1) at No. 11 UCF (2-0), 7:30 -- Knights looking to move up into top 10 as 21 1/2-point faves.

Off this week: No. 8 Miami (3-0) and FIU (0-1).

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THE ARCHIVES:

Our football special-section column troika: TUA TAGOVAILOA IS DOLPHINS' SAVIOR SENT TO BRING NEW GLORY ... IF PROPHECY IS TRUE  /  WHO'S SUPER BOWL-BOUND? WHERE DO FINS FALL? OUR 2020 NFL-IN-A-PANDEMIC TEAM RANKINGS  /  and FOR MIAMI & AMERICA, HERE COMES A COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WE'LL NEVER FORGET

Select other most recent columns:                 'If I Die, I Die.' QB Cousins' Shamefully Cavalier Attitude On Pandemic / Boycott Of NBA Playoffs Shows Nation That Injustice Is Bigger Than Sports Right Now / Having Fans at Dolphins, Canes Games A Bad Idea And Big Risk / For Marlins, A Home Opener -- And First Place -- In Mid-August / As Panthers Move on From Tallon, Who's Next Miami Team Executive on Hot Seat? / 'Perfect Storm For Virus Transmission': Why Football Is Struggling to Lift Off / Marlins Delaying Home Opener For COVID Outbreak a Scary Lesson For All Sports / Don Shula, 1930-2020, R.I.P. / What Shula Meant to a Father & Son. They Boy Was Me / It Took George Floyd To Finally Wake Up White America / Goodell's NFL Response to Floyd Killing Is Hypocrisy At Its Most Ironic / and George Floyd Is Why Kaepernick & Sports Must Continue Fight For Social Justice

Revisit this blog often because it updates regularly. The Associated Press Sports Editors writing awards ranked the blog's author a Top 10 national sports columnist in the major-outlet category. Greg is also a regular on the Dan Le Batard Show With Stugotz on ESPN Radio. Finding Greg Cote: TwitterInstagramFacebookColumnsPodcastPodcast on TwitterPodcast on InstagramLeBatard Show. Book: Fins At 50. Songs: Letting Go (audio) and The Ballad Of 1440 (video).

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